As with most organisations, the last two years have been very challenging for fund-raising – and even more challenging for local charities.
With great support from our members and friends, SI Southport continued to run some small fundraisers. Some were virtual – such as balloon races, remote dinners and raffles – and some had a more traditional format – such as our Christmas Fair at All Saints Church Hall and an Auction, run by Social Chair, Jean Tweddell.
As a result, we boosted our charity funds and had the opportunity to make some donations to some local charities.
We are fortunate to have this wonderful hospice in Southport and Barbara Cox, one of the volunteers, gave us an overview. Queenscourt receives only 20% of its costs from the NHS, the rest being contributed by fund-raising and donations. It costs £400 per hour to run the hospice, so this is a huge task and all donations are gratefully received. Barbara reminded us that April was ‘Wills Month’, where some local solicitors will provide will-writing services at no charge but will invite a donation to the hospice. She also mentioned the charity shops.
Above all, Barbara stressed that Queenscourt is a place for living, not dying….and it’s ours!
For more information, please see Queenscourt’s website here.
Woodlands Animal Sanctuary
Caroline Simpson described the mission of this charity, which looks after ill, unwanted and neglected animals. They particularly specialise in rehoming cats and guinea pigs and rehabilitating hedgehogs. Caroline said it cost £5000 per week to care for the animals and is self-funded. It is run by a dedicated staff, experienced in animal management and animal care – plus a lot of volunteers, who unfortunately had to stand down during Covid.
Donations – and volunteers – are always welcome!
For more information, please see Woodlands website here
Southport Talking Newspaper
Charles O’Hara gave us a description of this service, which started in 1987 to provide those suffering from sight loss with regular updates of local news. Their clients in Southport, Formby, Ormskirk and beyond receive lots of news from all over the world, via the various media channels but they do not always know the news in their own area.
The process has become very slick. Recordings of news articles from the Southport Visiter and the Southport and Formby Champion are made from each Wednesday morning to Thursday lunchtime, saved on a USB stick and delivered to clients by Friday afternoon. The recordings are played on specially adapted radios, which are provided by the Southport Talking Newspaper. The government pays the postage, so this service can remain free. Southport Talking Newspaper also use the website ‘Soundcloud’ so their recordings can be heard online by anyone, wherever they are in the country.
Charles expressed his thanks for the donation, which will be used to settle into a new ‘home’. The team includes 46 volunteers – but would welcome more!
Please see the Southport Talking Newspaper website for more information.
Ariane Clarke introduced Compassion Acts, a local charity aiming to reduce poverty and increase social wellbeing in Southport and the surrounding areas.
The best known of their services is the Southport Food Bank, which operates 6 days per week from 7 locations. Ariane said that the numbers visiting the food bank are steady just now but they are expecting surge in view of the current cost of living increases. Donations of food and money are always welcome.
The charity also operates Food Pantries, a members-only food club for those ‘just about managing’ – for a small payment, the members can shop for the basics and a few extras with the focus on choice, value – and dignity.
There are additional services provided by Compassion Acts. These included advice and support around welfare benefits, money management, a uniform hub to distribute used school uniforms and school holiday clubs for children on free school meals to have a meal and engage in some fun activities. Our President, Carol Cookson, mentioned that she had recently supported one of these holiday clubs .
Ariane expressed her thanks for supporting Compassion Acts – all donations of time and money are gratefully received.
For more information, please see the Compassion Acts website